by Karen Blumenthal
The Tommy gun was developed during World War I, but the prototype was finalized and mass-produced too late to make an impact. The war ended and the manufacturer looked for other markets. It became the favored choice of gangsters, its firing power leading to bloody scenes in Prohibition gang wars in Chicago, and spread from there. The pursuit of criminals like John Dillinger and others that fueled the career of J. Edgar Hoover also fueled new regulations, most notably the National Firearms Act, and the rise of a lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association. At the same time, the U.S. government started a campaign in Hollywood to make G-men, and not gangsters, movie heroes. As our country struggles today with disagreements over guns and gun legislation, this fascinating accounting is highly relevant, even noting that in their first arguments before Congress opposing new regulatory legislation requiring firearm registration, NRA representatives never mentioned the Second Amendment. Occasional black-and white photos, a bibliography, and notes round out this timely work. (Age 12 and older)
CCBC Choices 2016. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016. Used with permission.
John Taliaferro Thompson had a mission: to develop a lightweight, fast-firing weapon that would help Americans win on the battlefield. His Thompson submachine gun could deliver a hundred bullets in a matter of seconds—but didn't find a market in the U.S. military. Instead, the Tommy gun became the weapon of choice for a generation of bootleggers and bank-robbing outlaws, and became a deadly American icon. Following a bloody decade—and eighty years before the mass shootings of our own time—Congress moved to take this weapon off the streets, igniting a national debate about gun control. Critically-acclaimed author Karen Blumenthal tells the fascinating story of this famous and deadly weapon—of the lives it changed, the debate it sparked, and the unprecedented response it inspired.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.